Client Code of Conduct *or* My Commitment to My Client

Helping my clients make good decisions.

That’s my simple goal every day. That goal requires the right partnership.

One of the most important things I do is to manage my clients’ expectations, whether that’s what to expect when they make a low offer on a house, or put forth an escalation clause in a multiple offer situation, choose to price the house higher (or lower) than I advise, or what to expect with respect to growth in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area.

I’ve been meaning to do this – this “code of conduct” and this story – for a few years, outlining part of my commitment to my buyer and seller clients, and part of my request for my clients.

Asks of the Client

  • Please be punctual; time is one of our most precious commodities. While I’m rarely late, (attribute it to my time at Virginia Military Institute) if I am, I’ll call or text, even if I’m going to be two minutes late.
    • If we’re seeing five properties, we need to see those properties on schedules often dictated by traffic or the sellers’ schedules. If you’re 15 minutes late, that can throw everything off.
  • I have time limits. So do you. I will set expectations that if you email me before 7pm, I will respond that night.
    • Sometimes, I ride my bicycle in the middle of the day.
  • Ask questions.
    • I know I’m not going to be your first stop in the information-seeking process. Google is going to win that battle, And then maybe the parents/peers. And then me. But please, ask me. I’ll answer as quickly and as accurately as possible, and I’ll usually back up my answer with supporting links.
  • Challenge me 
    • Nicely and respectfully, please. But … every decision in the process is made by the client, often with my guidance, but it’s ultimately the client decision. I want you to be comfortable and confident in your decision.
  • Please listen
    • To each other, and to me. 🙂

 

Part of my commitment to you.

  • I will listen. Process. Digest. Ask and pose questions of and to you.
  • I will educate, guide, shepherd, (and do my utmost to) protect and buffer you from the the inherent stressors.
  • I will try to anticipate, head off, prepare you for stressors and pitfalls.
  • I’ll try to keep my phone out of sight. If I have to have it present (for family, or expecting an emergency client call), I’ll set that expectation.
  • Try to make you feel like you’re my only client.
    • We both know you’re not my only client, but you don’t care about my next meeting, or my previous one, or my closing tomorrow, or … you care about you. Believe it or not, I’ve gotten notes and letters from clients explicitly expressing how I made them feel like I was working only with them. That’s my goal.
  • I will give you the best possible advice I have to offer.
    • Sometimes, that advice is, “walk away.”
  • Confidentiality, fiduciary duty, loyalty … all that is encompassed in the buyer broker agreement.
  • There’s a lot more; curious, looking for buyer or seller representation? I’m here.
  • There is a team behind me – my assistant, and the entire Nest Marketing team. But I am your contact, your guide, your representative and advocate.

I do this every day.

Most of my clients do not. I value, and humbly appreciate the trust my clients choose to place in me. Buying or selling real estate is a massive, likely life-altering decision.

I aim to patiently (I often work with clients for years before finding the right home) provide accurate information and guidance, be available when you are (within reason), and partner with you to help you make the best possible decision you can make.

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  1. Pingback: A Pile of Money, And the Rest of your Life: Buying a Home - RealCentralVA.com

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